Hot Weather Health Tips for Your Pet

The dog days of summer are upon us—is your pet prepared to face the heat? Remember: most of our dogs and cats are wearing a coat of fur, and they’re not well-equipped to cool themselves down! Use these tips from your Lafayette, LA vet to keep your pet safe when it’s hot outside:

Bring Pet Indoors

A simple rule of thumb for hot-weather safety is to keep your pet indoors, where it’s air conditioned and cool, most of the time. This way, you’re avoiding the risks of deadly heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. Try to keep outdoor time to a minimum, only allowing your pet out for a few minutes at a time during extremely hot weather.


Whether your pet is spending time indoors or out, it’s essential to provide proper hydration at all times. Give your cat or dog a large bowl of cool, fresh water to drink from as they please. Be sure to check the dish periodically, and refill or refresh it if necessary. Your pet will thank you!

Provide Shade When Outdoors

When your pet is enjoying outdoor time, make sure there is at least one shaded area for them to rest under. It’s a good idea to place an additional water dish in this shaded area for your pet’s convenience. If trees or other items in your yard don’t provide adequate shade, make your own—a hammock, tent, or awning structure will work well.

Try Pet Sunscreen

Did you know that pets can experience painful sunburn, just like we can? It usually happens on areas of the body that aren’t completely covered by fur, like the nose tip or ear edges. Try using a canine- or feline-specific sunscreen, available at pet supply stores and certain retail outlets, to protect your pet against the sun’s harmful rays. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a good brand.

Exercise Wisely

Your pet needs their exercise, even during hot weather. If you usually head outdoors for exercise time, do so wisely. Try exercising your pet during the cooler morning or evening hours, when temperatures are lower and the sun isn’t directly overhead. It’s much safer than giving your pet a workout during the middle part of the day, when it’s hottest!

Would you like more great tips on keeping your furry friend safe when the temperature rises? Contact your Lafayette, LA animal clinic to talk with a professional.

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